Terry Slattery is our favorite guru when it comes to understanding how to run realtime traffic on IP networks. As he’s been doing for years at Enterprise Connect, Terry will again present an in-depth session on the topic -- How Emerging Technologies Challenge Realtime Performance Over IP – at EC Orlando next month.
In earlier days, the “emerging” technology that Terry spent most of his time on was, of course, narrowband voice over IP. Then, as more video started to run across IP networks, he expanded his focus. Now the emerging technologies that could affect realtime performance include SD-WAN and Cloud, while not-so-new technologies such as wireless LANs—and the IP network itself—are going through significant changes that also need to be understood and taken into account.
The slippery thing about this challenge is that you never really “solve” one generation of problems before you move on to the next: Voice is vulnerable to poor-quality performance across IP networks today, just as it was a decade or more ago. The network keeps changing underneath us, and the nature of the other applications changes as well, and the impact of those changes continues to be felt on any media running over the network.
I’m not going to go into great detail about what Terry covers—I couldn’t possibly do it justice anyway. I bring up this session because it’s an example of the depth and technical expertise that we try to pair at Enterprise Connect with strategic vision and market understanding. Whether you’re responsible for planning the next platform migration, or for making sure the next call to hit the network sounds good, it’s helpful to share ideas with those who are similarly focused.
And this generation of technology change is even more challenging than what we’ve seen in the past. In presenting advice to network managers, Terry’s “Realtime Performance” presentation encourages the audience to, as he puts it, “think differently” and “think like Apollo 13 ground support” when troubleshooting issues around new technologies. In other words, even if you spend a lot of hours thinking about buffer sizes and QoS tags, you’ve got to have a holistic understanding of what’s going on with the network. Terry talks about the need to apply existing tools in new ways, and, conversely, to integrate new tools with existing systems and processes.
We still may be a few years out from widespread deployment of today’s bleeding-edge technologies—Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI), but those will surely alter the equation even more. AI may not, in itself, represent traffic on the network, but where the AI resides, and how important are the tasks to which the AI is applied—those questions will affect traffic on IP networks. And IoT is another wild card, but one whose application within your enterprise you’ll certainly need to understand if you’re going to provide the appropriate service to it (and all other traffic with which it shares the network).
Enterprise Connect tries to bring together all the different constituencies of enterprise communications, and to give each the information and insights it needs. We’re less than three weeks out from the show, so it’s time to register if you haven’t already. I hope to see everyone soon in Orlando!